Deepwater Dressmaker (This Week’s Movies)


Kate Winslet: The Dressmaker

Links to my reviews published this week in the Herald and Seattle Weekly, and etc.

Deepwater Horizon. “The excitement generated by each crash is perhaps just a tad unholy.”

The Dressmaker. “Jocelyn Moorhouse gleefully blends laughter and shocks. She works with a scalpel – the characters, the one-liners, and of course the costumes are shaped with precision.”

A Man Called Ove. “The whole thing comes across like a Swedish Gran Torino, but without the guns and gangs.”

The Lovers and the Despot. “A true Cold War cloak-and-dagger affair.”

The most recent session of Framing Pictures is online; in this one, the panel talks about Sully, Hell or High Water, Disorder, and an appreciation of Gene Wilder. You can watch here; it’s also playing on the Seattle Channel this week.

Movie Diary 9/29/2016

12:08 East of Bucharest (Corneliu Porumboiu, 2006). Half the film is watching three characters as they pass through the day of the Romanian Revolution; the other half is the same three awkwardly appearing on low-budget local TV. The droll humor is sustained throughout, and there isn’t a shot that isn’t distinctive (without violating the tilt toward realism). Porumboiu’s most recent is The Treasure.

Movie Diary 9/28/2016

The Lovers and the Despot (Ross Adam, Robert Cannan, 2016). The story of the South Korean actress and her director husband who were kidnapped and taken to North Korea to make films at the behest of Kim Jong-il. The story is incredible, and it’s enhanced here with great footage and interviews. (full review 9/30)

Movie Diary 9/27/2016

A Man Called Ove (Hannes Holm, 2015). A lot of people will like this Swedish comedy, and there are some decent reasons for that. Quite a bit of geezer humor, but a sufficiently dry central performance helps win the day. (full review 9/30)

The Birth of a Nation (Nate Parker, 2016). The movie diary of Nat Turner, with the rabble-rousing movie itself now over-clouded by the past of its director. A blunt object, though with its share of haunting and haunted faces – certainly including Parker’s own. (full review 10/7)

Movie Diary 9/26/2016

The Dressmaker (Jocelyn Moorhouse, 2015). The trailer for this movie is so cutesy it turned me off from seeing the film at SIFF this year. Turns out the thing is a lot more interesting than that. Moorhouse mixes moods with real daring, and some of the jokes draw blood. There’s much that is silly, too, in the Australian manner, but it makes for an interesting patchwork. (full review 9/30)

Avalanche Zoom Seven (This Week’s Movies)


The cast of The Magnificent Seven (courtesy MGM)

Links to my reviews published this week in the Herald and Seattle Weekly.

The Magnificent Seven. “Those bread-and-butter scenes feel fumbled or half-hearted.”

Operation Avalanche. “A cracking example of a low-budget concept done right.”

Queen of Katwe. “The material might have become fodder for a standard piece of uplift, but Queen of Katwe is better than that.”

Zoom. “The concept is intriguing, but the stories are not hugely engaging on their own.”

The annual Local Sightings Film Festival launches at the Northwest Film Forum. Here’s my overview of the event, plus five capsules of previewed films.

I’m at the Port Townsend Film Festival this weekend; I’ll be popping up at some of these events, but check out the whole schedule for a full range of moviegoing delights.

Movie Diary 9/20/2016

Zoom (Pedro Morelli, 2016). Three stories, each a fiction created by a character in one of the other tales, follow parallel lines until eventually they don’t. I guess this is trying to be Borges-lite, and there are some good moments and capable performers (among them Alison Pill, Gael Garcia Bernal – in animated form only – and Mariana Ximenes). (full review 9/23)